Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

2024 Formula Kite European Championships at Mar Menor, Spain - Overall

by Andy Rice 24 Mar 23:17 PDT 18-24 March 2024
Max Maeder and Lauriane Nolot celebrate on the beach - 2024 Formula Kite European Championships © IKA media / Robert Hajduk

Winds gusting close to 30 knots brought spectacular conditions for the climax of the 2024 Formula Kite European Championship in Mar Menor, Spain.

Reigning World Champions Max Maeder and Lauriane Nolot respectively won the men's and women's European titles, but for the French woman she had to sail at her absolute best to beat her faster rivals. Jessie Kampman and Poema Newland pushed Nolot hard all week, the French dominating the top three of the leaderboard throughout the regatta.

Coup de Grâce

This was part of the French Olympic selection trials and it showed. The intensity of the racing between these three was something to behold, and it drove the French to a level that the rest of the female fleet just couldn't match.

Except perhaps for Elena Lengwiler. The Swiss rider could barely gybe a foiling kiteboard a year ago, but she has made enormous strides in her ability and at times was the fastest rider on the race track. Finishing in fourth place behind the French, and yet she has yet to qualify Switzerland for a place at the Olympic Games. That task will come at the 'Last Chance' Regatta in the South of France a month from now when Lengwiler will surely earn her place for Paris 2024.

Extreme Measures

In the Final, up against those three French riders, Lengwiler was definitely a contender, not just making up the numbers. But in the end the Swiss rider finished just off the podium. A crash in the first race of the Final for Poema Newland was not what this competitive rider was aiming for, but it was so easy to do on a day when the women were resorting to their rarely-used 9 square metre kites which you only ever see in extreme conditions.

Nolot was the early leader for the first race and looked like she was going to win the Europeans in one race. But Kampman had other ideas and overtook her rival on the downwind leg and held the lead to the finish.

Not the fastest, but the smartest

In the next race Nolot spotted an opportunity for a brave port-tack start across her three rivals. She executed the start perfectly and was rewarded with an early lead that Nolot would never relinquish. For once Nolot lacked an extra gear of speed, but instead she made up for it with brave tactics and fully deserved to take the European title. Together with her teammates, it was a clean sweep of the medals for France, Kampman taking silver and Newland the bronze.

In the men's Medal Series, Italy's Riccardo Pianosi and Bruno Lobo of Brazil fought their way out of the men's semi-finals to go up against Axel Mazella and Max Maeder in the Final. But the 17-year-old from Singapore was just too good, Maeder needing only one race to win the title which he last held in 2022. Silver went to Mazella, an incredible result for the Frenchman only recently returned to kiting after a serious knee injury, and bronze to Pianosi.

Unintimidated

Joining the commentary team for the livestream of the final two days of the Europeans was the 2022 World Champion Toni Vodisek. The Slovenian has already qualified for a place at the Games and was taking time away from the water before getting back into competition for the final push towards Paris 2024. Despite Maeder's almost flawless performance, Vodisek still believes he can beat the favourite at the Olympic Games.

It has been a barnstorming start to the Olympic kiteboarding season, and with the World Championships just a few weeks away, there are more thrills and spills to come between now and Paris 2024.

More info at www.kiteclasses.org. (top three)

Men
1. Maximilian Maeder SGP Gold
2. Axel Mazella FRA Silver
3. Riccardo Pianosi ITA Bronze

Women
1. Lauriane Nolot FRA Gold
2. Jessie Kampman FRA Silver
3. Poema Newland FRA Bronze

More info at www.kiteclasses.org.

Related Articles

Big Air World Champions crowned in Gran Canaria
Insane airs push the limits of Big Air as kites are sent to moon and masters of skies are crowned In a momentous final day where riders lit up the sky off the rocky shores of Salinas de Tenefé, the "next level" of Big Air competition was revealed by the new champions, pushed by a relentless posse of younger athletes. Posted on 14 Jul
2024 Youth Sailing Worlds Opening Ceremony
A total of 418 sailors from 70 countries have gathered at Fraglia Vela Riva A stunning celebration of friendship and togetherness officially kicked off the Youth Sailing World Championships 2024 at the Opening Ceremony in Riva del Garda. Posted on 14 Jul
Burlando & Hoogenraad win Big Air Kitesurf Worlds
Canarian and Dutch riders become the new world champions of the discipline Local riders dominated the podium at the Kite Surf Big Air event in Gran Canaria, with Jeremy Burlando and brothers Lorenzo and Leonardo Casati taking the top three positions. Posted on 13 Jul
2024 Youth Sailing Worlds in Lake Garda Preview
The world's brightest talents will put on a show for a shot at sailing glory Preparations are in order and the groundwork has been done by the next generation of champion sailors ahead of the 2024 Youth Sailing World Championships in Lake Garda. Posted on 11 Jul
Whisper it quietly..
Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing Worlds are taking place next week Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing World Championships are taking place at Lake Garda in under a week's time. Posted on 9 Jul
2024 Formula Kite Youth Worlds overall
Turienzo and Stragiotti conquer the [Youth] World! The two newly crowned Formula Kite World Champions have been leading the competition since the very beginning, but such is the format in Formula Kite that nothing is decided before the last day. Posted on 7 Jul
2024 Formula Kite Youth Worlds Day 4
Last moment shuffle of the finals' tickets It was a bit of a slow start this morning for the wind, but once it started blowing, it stayed for 6 full rounds of racing. It was the last day before the medal series, and the main goal for all sailors in the gold fleet was to make the cut. Posted on 6 Jul
2024 Formula Kite Youth Worlds Day 3
The day of the cut Another 'normal' Gizzeria day allowed for 5 further races and brought the qualification series to an end for the men. The top 25 will continue to the gold fleet tomorrow while the rest will compete for places 26 and lower. Posted on 5 Jul
2024 Formula Kite Youth Worlds Day 2
Turienzo and Stragiotti dominate the day Calabria Straordinaria conditions are back! The day started grey and wet, but by midday the clouds had cleared and the normal Gizzeria wind had kicked in, allowing for 5 races to be sailed. Posted on 4 Jul
2024 Formula Kite Youth Worlds day 1
Even paradise gets bad days Calabria Straordinaria took a break today, with rain squals, shifty light winds and big swell, making it impossible to put any of the organization's vessels to the sea on the opening day of the Formula Kite Youth Worlds. Posted on 3 Jul
C-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOM37th AC Store 2024-one-728X90 BOTTOMMySail Skipper